Staying up to date with the latest research and information is one of the best ways we can help you with your gardens, lawns and landscapes. And one very important way we stay up to date is by earning continuing education units (CEUs) at a variety of classes, workshops and other training events.
CEUs in the horticulture world – or, the “green industry” – are, simply, credit for new or updated knowledge and skills regarding insects, diseases, palms, turf, pruning, plant introductions and much more. This ongoing training provides a road map for industry professionals, of course, and it helps our staff and Master Gardener volunteers answer the questions we receive from you by email, phone, and in person.
Recently, two staff members and 19 Master Gardeners attended the “Southwest District Master Gardener Conference.” Hosted in Charlotte County by UF/IFAS Extension, the day-long event brought together staff and Master Gardeners from counties across southwest Florida. While there were many highlights in a workshop packed with information, these five sessions stood out to us as particularly valuable:
- “Bees and Pollinators,” Dr. Rachel Mallinger, UF/IFAS assistant professor, pollinator ecology and conservation;
- “Microplastics in the Environment,” Betty Staugler, Charlotte County Extension Sea Grant agent;
- “Landscape Design Practices,” Brian Calligan, Naples Botanical Garden director of horticulture;
- “Timely Issues with Tropical Fruit,” Jeff Wasielewski, Miami-Dade County Extension, commercial tropical fruit crops agent; and
- “Gardening with Gingers,” Dr. Sydney Park-Brown, UF/IFAS associate professor emeritus.
Each of these topics touches on local issues, and staff and Master Gardeners are eager to share their new knowledge with you. Visit one of our Plant Clinic help desks to get the latest. Our main Plant Clinic is located at our Twin Lakes Park office, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. But we have an array of clinics around the county, operating at times and locations for your convenience. Visit sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/plantclinic to learn more.